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Archive for the ‘On the Road’ Category

LP and I just came home from a whirlwind trip to Boston for a family event.  We had 5 fun and family-packed days.  One of the many delights for us was 2 nights in a hotel (oh the pool!) which meant more hangout time with cousins (and for me with my siblings).

The second night, my 7-year-old niece and LP were at loose ends, so we three girls went to our room to make some puppets.  Those of you who have read my blog for awhile know that I don’t leave home without blue painters tape and you can see how useful it was for this make-it-up craft.

We took turns drawing faces (mostly dogs, of course) and then carefully ripped them out and taped them onto construction paper tubes (another travel essential).  The tubes were various sizes and fit either over a few fingers or a whole hand depending on the size of the puppeteers hands.  LP also asked for a bone puppet for the dogs so I made that one for her.  It was fun to have time with my crafty niece and experience her creativity in action (I love that one of her dog puppets “Woof” has his name written on his forehead).

Much to LP’s disappointment, there wasn’t time to gather all the cousins together for a puppet show before bedtime.  However, the puppets packed up easily for the next leg of our journey and when we were finished playing, they were recycled.

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LP & I spent the first 4 nights of our trip at my Dad’s place.  In addition to rearranging as much stuff as she could, LP made up some new games. My favorite was “Hearts Away!”

To play Hearts Away:
1. Stand at the top of the stairs holding a large ball (this is even better if you can get one or two people like your Mama and Grandpa to stand with you)

2. Squeeze the ball while you bounce up and down.

3. Throw the ball down the stairs while yelling “Hearts Away!”

4. Climb down stairs to retrieve the ball (again, this is better if you can get the big people to come with you)

5.  Repeat.

6. Repeat.

7. Repeat (until the big people wander off to do other things)

There was a second game called “Dog on the Milk” which involved moving a stuffed dog (named “All Pandas”) around the apartment but LP gave up on it after getting frustrated with me for not understanding the rules of the game.

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LP and I are on the road again.

We’ve started this trip with a visit to my Dad so she can have some good Grandpa time.  We’re staying at his place and in usual LP style she has commandeered all kinds of objects to play with.  The first night we were here, she kept pestering him until he brought all of his many model ships down for her. There was an armada on the coffee table!

A lot of rain has kept us more indoors than out and so it has been lovely to witness LP step up her imaginative action to make up for the lack of available toys and art supplies.

Last night she was ripping up some newspapers and called me over to help her make dinosaurs.  I wanted to use painters tape but LP had a vision for newspaper only dinosaurs and the ones I made with tape were sent to live at the bottom of the stairs.

Today, LP was determined to see her vision realized.  She began ripping and folding newspaper and handing me specific bones….some known (“this is a rib”) and some made-up (“this is a bruteen”).  So I loosened up my ideas of what a dinosaur looks like and said “yes” to her offers and enjoyed exploring the possibilities of the newspaper.

After we had made two that she particularly liked (named Juffee and Martella), she had us play hide and seek with them. Every time she would be in charge of the hiding dinosaur and would giggle with delight as the seeking dinosaur and I looked all over Dad’s apartment without finding the other.

Here (from right to left) are Juffee, Martella and a friend who is as of yet unnamed:

At home, a project like this might emerge but I think it would not evolve as far because LP (or I) would get distracted by other things.  Being on the road, I appreciate her creativity even more than usual.

This post is part of “We Play” over at Childhood 101…every week there are lots of great play ideas from all over the world!

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